Investing in infrastructure

Upmeyer Column: This week we had the first funnel, where policy bills are required to be approved by at least one committee to remain eligible for consideration this session. This is a way for us to pare down the bills and deter-mine which ones are priorities that should move forward and which ones need more work.

Key priorities like our K-12 education package, opioid leg-islation and mental health ac-cess remain alive and will soon be debated by the full House. Stay tuned!

Before I jumped into Fun-nel Week in Des Moines, I had the opportunity to make a quick trip to Washington D.C. to meet with President Trump. I joined other state and local officials from across the coun-try as the President released his plan to invest in and ad-dress our country's aging in-frastructure.

President Trump's plan will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid to leverage additional funding from state and local governments as well as the private sector. The Pres-ident also highlighted that these part of these federal funds will be targeted to rural states, like Iowa. In total, this plan will mean more than $1 trillion nationwide.

In addition to funding, President Trump wants to im-prove the permitting process so that projects can be done in more-timely manner and save taxpayer money. Some projects can take up to a decade to receive permission to move forward. The President's goal is to get this time down to a few months, or two years at a maximum.

During our meeting, I had the chance to speak directly with President Trump about some of the critical projects that are needed right here in Iowa that benefit people all across the state. We discussed modernizing our locks and dams on the Mississippi so Iowa farmers and businesses have an efficient way to ship their products to market as well as ways to provide broadband access to rural parts of the state. Additionally, we spoke about the I-80/380 interchange between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, which is a particularly dangerous part of our inter-state, and how an update would prevent future accidents and fatalities.

Here at the state level, we're also investing more into our infrastructure as well. Over the last couple of years, we have injected hundreds of mil-lions worth of new funding into critical road and bridge projects across the state. Some examples include expanding Highway 20 to four lanes, modernizing the Interstate in western Iowa, and replacing the I-74 Mississippi River bridge in the Quad Cities, just to name a few.

As I've mentioned in previ-ous newsletters, we are also working to extend the school infrastructure fund, commonly known as SAVE. This will allow schools to make im-provements to buildings, pro-vide safe classrooms, and keep up with technological changes.

Infrastructure is key to en-suring Iowa's bright future and leaders from the White House, the Statehouse, and the school house are working hard to make investments in these much needed projects. I look forward to continuing this conversation and moving for-ward.

As always, please keep in touch. As legislation moves forward, feel free to send me comments, questions or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at or 515-281-3521.